My Day at "Team Huck"

You may have noticed over the past week or so that former governor and future footnote Mike Huckabee has been in hot water for blowing the Obama “birther” dog-whistle a bit too loudly. Hoping to unite the scared and ignorant wings of his party, Huckabee used a radio interview to conveniently “misspeak” about the President having grown up in Kenya (“I meant to say Indonesia,” he later "clarified"). Any claim that this might truly have been an accident evaporates when you consider where Huckabee went with this premise. Because Obama grew up in Kenya, Huckabee noted, he would no doubt have a very different perspective on the MAU-MAU uprising than that of the British colonialists, a timely and completely relevant observation that allowed Huckleberry to say Obama and MAU-MAU about twenty times in a row (for those who do not share Huckabee’s age and sickness, “Mau-Mau” was for many years a racist epitaph in the U.S. While no longer in general circulation, this label would most certainly be well remembered by Huckabee’s base: elderly white people). Message received, formerly fat bastard.

I think this little escapade pissed me off more than the usual reactionary chicanery because--like many others over the past few years—I had been taken in by Huckabee’s impressive ability to seem somewhat reasonable on television. Even though you know he would probably have you locked up for your past history, current beliefs, and/or future possibilities, Huckabee has been able to project a certain optimistic pluralism that usually made his schtick less loathsome than the regressive paranoia typical of most social conservatives. He does well enough on The Daily Show, after all, and recently he even went so far as to say that the First Lady’s campaign to confront childhood obesity might not be such a bad idea, a position that, somewhat incredibly, had actually become controversial among the ultra-right, those who reserve the right to poison their children, not just with psychosexual shame and a continuing fear of a black planet, but also with copious amounts of lard and sugar.

Reading about Huckabee’s alleged “gaffe,” I decided through some dangerous combination of boredom and anger that I would log-in at his website to express my disappointment. Embarrassing, I know, to be caught in such an earnest act of political outrage—especially when knowing full-well that reasoned debate about any issue facing the country is now structurally impossible. Still, a quick venting seemed the only way to clear the afternoon for doing something more productive. 

I quickly found out that you can’t simply leave a comment at Huckabee’s site. After clicking through ads imploring you to buy his book and/or join him on an Alaskan cruise, you have to join “Team Huck” in order to leave feedback in his forum. So I did. As it so happened, I joined the Team just as a “birther” was in the midst of responding to Huckabee’s clarification about the whole Obama—Kenya—MAU MAU—Indonesia thing. Polishing off the portrait of Habermas that still hangs somewhere in the dusty recesses of my mind, I decided to engage Sir Birther in some good old-fashioned political dialog. Below is the transcript of my day at “Team Huck.” I am logging in as Eugene Debs (I know, hilarious, right?). With the exception of Huckabee’s own statement, the names of the other participants have been changed. I offer it as a record of just how profoundly delusional all political discourse has become in the early 21st century. Also, I reproduce it here because, after spending almost 8 hours trying to get kicked off their site, I figured I might as well get a blog entry out of it.

We begin with “Ace” offering Huckabee advice on how he can argue the birther position more forcibly the next time he is on television (even as Huckabee maintains he really believes Obama is actually an American).

ACE: Governor Huckabee, you might have viewed the controversial cable show, Hardball with Chris Matthews, today, where Matthews, as expected, trashed Mike Huckabee for implying that Barack Obama was raised up in Kenya. However, one key item that heavily implies that he was raised up in Kenya, is a you tube video of Michelle Obama, during a speech somewhere, said the following: "When Barack and I visited Barack's home country of Kenya...." If one visits the you tube website and from the website, searches "Michelle Obama Kenya" there is a video of her, wearing a yellow outfit, making a speech somewhere, some time ago, where she makes that assertion. It may well be worth viewing the video, to use as a defense in telling the truth about Obama being born and raised in the country of Kenya.

HUCKABEE (official statement on his “misspeaking”): On Monday, while on Steve Malzberg's radio show on New York's WOR Radio, I was asked about the President Obama's birth certificate issue. In my answer, I simply misspoke when I alluded to President Obama growing up in 'Kenya' and meant to say Indonesia. As I have stated on page 1 of my new book 'A Simple Government' and in numerous interviews with dozens of reporters - I don't believe there is an issue with Barack Obama's birth certificate. However, I do believe there are serious issues with the President's policies, and I have been openly opposed to the President's world view.

I'm not surprised the NY Times chose to sensationalize this story. In fact, the New York Times, the AP, and other news organizations ran with the "sensationalized story" despite being specifically told by Steve Malzberg himself that they were incorrect in their assessment of the sound bite. You just can't help but laugh when my simple slip of the tongue, becomes a huge story - and a certain Presidential candidate claiming to visit all 57 states, gets widely ignored.

ACE: I agree with that, Governor. It is amazing, the double standard the main stream media maintain, regarding this president. I can't say one way or the other about where he was born, although I am highly suspicious of him being born in Hawaii, since the only evidence he has offered to prove his natural born status, is the birth certificate he points to, that is posted on line, which is not the type of birth certificate the state of Hawaii was issuing in 1961. The main problem I have with him on that issue, is his failure to address the issue, forthwith, when the issue first came up during his '08 campaign. It was only after he returned to his campaign, after he visited his dying "typical white" grandmother, (his words not mine) in Hawaii, that a "birth certificate" of sorts, was posted on line. Upon his arrival in Hawaii, taking a few days off from the campaign to visit his grandmother, rather than to go directly to the hospital where she was, the media reported that he visited Hawaiian state officials first, then later, visited his grandmother. It was soon after that visit to Hawaiian state officials, that the "questionable" birth certificate appeared on the internet. Then soon afterwards, it was revealed that all his personal records were sealed and that he has refused to release them. We now learn that the Democrat Governor of Hawaii, who recently told the media, that he could not release any information on Obama's birth certificate, and (refused to confirm whether or not there was even a Barack Obama birth certificate on file in the state of Hawaii), was close friends with Obama's mother and father, which indicates to me that he probably would not have hesitated to do a tremendous favor for a family friend, who was running for president; a favor that could easily quell any pesky questions from the media and others, about Obama's place of natural birth.

EUGENE DEBS: Wouldn't it be amazing if the President really did pull off the most audacious hoax in the history of politics by successfully scheming to become the first foreign-born, fraudulent President ever? It sure would make the daily grind of watching all our wealth go up the Republican chain to banksters and oil companies easier to stomach. And it would be so exciting, just like reading the Da Vinci code!

ACE: You are using absurdity, in an effort not to be absurd. I believe it could happen and of course it would be the most profound case of outright, blatant fraud ever to exist in the White House.

ELLIE MAY: It’s well known Obama is paying millions of dollars to keep these documents secret.

MSTRUEAMERICAN: Mike is right. Obama WAS born in Kenya. There is video of Michelle Obama calling Kenya his “homeland.” Here is the link brother: (damning link provided)

EUGENE DEBS: So let me get this straight. Our current President knows he's not really an American, and even after teaching constitutional law at the University of Chicago for a number of years, he thinks to himself: "well, I wasn't born here and any moron would know that means I can't be President, but I'm so evil and intent on giving health care to poor people that I'm just going to go for it! I'm sure no one will catch me, even in the glare of an intense campaign, and even though my chief opponent for the nomination will be a Yale educated lawyer named Hilary Clinton."

The document produced in Hawaii is what 90% of the country uses as their "birth certificate." I know I couldn't produce all the documents you want--I'm pretty sure the hospital I was born in back in Oklahoma burned down in the 70s. Does that mean I have to go back to my ancestral "homeland" of Scotland? And predictably, even when the President's birth document was produced, it was instantly denounced as a fake--as would ANY "proof" demanded by people who desperately want this folktale to be true.

Remember when Bush the Junior couldn't account for being AWOL from the Alabama National Guard for six months and the left demanded an accounting? This is your version of that, a story you want to be true (although in the case of "birther-ism," it's an even more ridiculous claim). Just look at the absurdity of the "grandmother" stuff--you mean the President of the United States actually had to do something with other government people before visiting his "typical white" grandmother in the hospital? That's a smoking gun for sure!

Face it, if Obama wasn't bi-racial and a democrat, no one would even think to question his citizenship. And yes, you can now say you want a bill that requires "everyone" to produce citizenship proof before running for President--but the only reason you want this is because this particular President makes you suspicious. Or perhaps you are mad because, by being born in Hawaii only 4 years after it became a state, he isn't a REAL American in the same way that Whitey McWhittington born in wherever you live would be. You really, really want this story to be true because you really, really don't want him to be President. Period. Under any circumstances. If it wasn't the birther b.s., I'm sure someone on the right would have invented an imaginary "impeachable offense" by now to get him out. Do none of you have enough historical memory to remember how the Right pushed "Whitewater" for 7 years of the Clinton presidency, not because it amounted to anything, but rather because it was simply a convenient way to constantly hamstring a democratic administration with ridiculous claims? This is old-style politics 101. The amazing thing is you keep falling for it.

@ELLIE MAY: You "know" the President pays a lot of money to keep these documents secret. And just how do you "know" that? Read it on the Internet somewhere? Glen "the entire world is a conspiracy" Beck spell it out for you on his little kindergarten board? You know, I'm pretty sure I heard Sarah Palin once baked and ate a small child. Until she can provide documentation otherwise, I will consider her a child cannibal!!! And please buy my book to find out more!

And bless your heart mstrueamerican (you do know, by the way, that the idea of "ms" was invented by left-wing feminists in the 70s? Just checking), the first lady referring to Kenya as the President's homeland (the place of his father's birth) is no different than a Clinton, Reagen, or Kennedy referring to Ireland as their "homeland." Oh wait, it is different because regular white people come from Ireland and Kenya is full of black people.

There is now an entire industry selling books and ad time on Fox based on keeping you fearful and distracted from anything that actually matters. If you're looking for a crime to investigate, why don't you ask yourself where the middle-class went over the past 10 years? Or why we tried to fight two wars and cut taxes at the same time? Or how the banking system in this country destroyed millions of pension plans and no one was held accountable. Nope, nothing is more important than clinging to the stupid idea that a cabal of nefarious Lefties are hoodwinking the nation, led by that guy with the funny sounding name.

MSTRUEAMERICAN: I use ms because I am single and want to denote that I am a FEMALE conservative. No Obama was born in Kenya and Michelle is stating correctly. Eugene you need to get the HELL out of here because you are NO Tea Party Patriot. You are a TROLL. He is pulling a hoax and apparently you like believing that a lie is the truth. We do NOT. We KNOW this is a lie. We know he is spending MILLIONS to keep his real records sealed. I was contacted yesterday by a female assistant to Congressman Larry Kissel and I asked her about the REAL birth documents. She did NOT know that they were fakes and how much Obama was spending to keep them sealed. But she assured me she would tell the congressman about it. He is NOT naturalized. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger knows he cant run for the Oval Office and people have asked him to because he is a NATURALIZED and NOT NATIVE born. Get out of here your DAMN COMMUNIST TROLL!!

EUGENE DEBS: Yes, "MS" was introduced by feminists in the '70s as a way of denoting a feminine status other than married/not-married. Glad to see you've embraced it.

Does typing words in all capitals all the time help you believe more firmly in your positions? And you mean to tell me someone associated with Congressman Kissel doesn't know about all the fake documents? How could that happen when Obama's so obviously not an American...and she assured you she would tell the congressman about it...Yes, I'm sure she did that, right after she went to the water cooler rolling her eyes and thinking why does her party have to keep pandering to nut-jobs. Even Huckabee in the statement above has said he does not question the President's legitimacy. Why are you posting to a website for a potential candidate who is so obviously in on the conspiracy as well?

And yes, you have discovered my secret. My political beliefs are roughly the equivalent of Bob Dole's (which now makes me a commie), and I am in fact only 3.5 feet tall. Don't worry, I'm sure any record of my having visited this site will soon be expunged and you can go back to a delusional world where everyone agrees with you all the time. This encounter with reality will just seem like a bad dream.

MSTRUEAMERICAN: It denotes that I am PISSED OFF at commies like you. NO our world is NOT delusional. YOURS IS!! You did NOT read correctly. He is NOT in on the conspiracy at ALL or Chris Matthews wouldn't have been foaming at the bit over Huck's comments and Chris was when I had the unfortunate mishap of surfing by that COMMUNIST channel. Maybe she doesn't have the time or the ability to keep up with what is going on outside of the Beltway like we TRUE AMERICANS do. You Commies are the true NUT jobs. We see that from postings of the signs your ilk carried in Wisconsin.

MILLICENT of MIDLOATHIAN: Eugene Debs: This website is dedicated to the support of Gov. Huckabee. Why are you writing here? If you just want to argue, your issues are of little value. America has more serious problems than discussing the same old 60's hippies issues.

ACE: Eugene, it is everyone's right to believe what they want to believe. I am an optimist, however the big question remains, why doesn't Obama put it all to rest, by applying for a legitimate, certified copy of his birth certificate, rather than a certificate of live birth, posted on the internet, with numbers blacked out, which is a different document entirely. Once upon a time, when I was younger, I thought I had found my birth certificate in a box of documents that had belonged to my deceased mother, but when I attempted to get my passport with it, I was promptly informed that what I had presented was a certificate of live birth, not a birth certificate. I had to apply for a certified copy of my birth certificate, before I could get my passport. There is not enough room or time to respond to each rhetorical statement in your post, but just to give you an idea of how little you were paying attention to my post, that Obama had taken time off from his campaign to visit Hawaii, and he was not president at that time. Obviously, he was only a candidate. Your statement of - ("you mean the President of the United States actually had to do something with other government people before visiting his "typical white" grandmother in the hospital? That's a smoking gun for sure!") .. means you didn't notice that I was talking about Obama the candidate, not the President, which he was not at that time. You seem to assert that the "typical white grandmother" were my words. That was a statement made by Obama, not by me. ("My grandmother was a "typical white person"- Barack Obama). Obama himself, is the one who makes it difficult to believe he is a natural born citizen of the U.S.A. Why would his wife, Michelle Obama, make a statement, during her speech at a fundraiser to battle aids, like this- " When Barack and I visited Barack's home country of Kenya".... You can view the video on you tube. Michelle's words, not mine.

EUGENE DEBS: Excuse me, my fault: Why would the "future" President of the United States in the midst of a heated political campaign have business to conduct before visiting his grandmother?

Why are conservatives always so sensitive to the fact that the President at one point described his grandmother in rather benign terms as a "typical white person?" Could it be that it offers justification and cover for having said or thought the words "typical black person" in our own lives, something which I am rather ashamed to admit I've done in my own life a few times. Why do those three words even matter in this issue?

So the certificate on the Internet with all the mysterious blacked-out numbers:

1. You've already established that we're suffering from the most audacious fraud in the history of mankind....why would a collective of such brilliant, scheming people put up such an "obvious" forgery on the Internet? Wouldn't you think that such a supreme cult of stolen power would have the resources to pull off such a charade more persuasively? Maybe they'd at least check first to make sure there were no mysterious blacked-out numbers on it? This is precisely why the administration won't play your stupid game --anything they would offer as proof would instantly have some new equally stupid and equally distracting "enigma" to it. I'm sure many of you still think Hilary had Vince Foster killed. You do remember that one, don't you? Just want to make sure you are paying attention to your own proud history of conservative goose-chasing.

2. Please tell me we're not talking about one of the documents that Birther Supreme Orly Tainted had so crudely forged and tried to pass off as real a few months back, correct? The ones that were instantly identified as fabricated and proved an embarrassment to every Republican forced to discuss them?

As for the first lady saying we visited Barack's "home country of Kenya," yep, I guess you got her--It must be a tremendous burden for her knowing what she knows, I guess the pressure was too much for her and she slipped -- into using a common figure of speech. By this logic, every doofus on St. Patty's day wearing a "Kiss Me, I'm Irish" shirt needs to rounded up and deported.

@MILLICENT: I'm not sure exactly what hippie issue I brought up. Perhaps you're referring to providing historical context to the introduction of "Ms." in the 1970s. I do this as a public service for mstrueamerican who clearly has such hatred for all things progressive -- you don't want her embarrassing herself in front of her conservative friends by identifying with Gloria Steinham, do you?

As for "winning" this debate, on the contrary, I sincerely hope you bring it up at every possible opportunity. I hope you shout it as loudly as you can every moment of every day. Look at the top of this post--even Mike Huckabee has DISAVOWED you. HE AGREES WITH ME. Why are you on this site making trouble for me and my pal Mike who are in complete accord on this issue? Who's the delusional one in this scenario? Look again...let it soak in...absolutely no one with any real responsibility or ambition in your party wants to be associated with you.

Seriously, some of you seem more than capable of coherent thought and prose. Are you proud of what you're doing to people like mstrueamerican, who is clearly teetering on the precipice of a full-on psychotic episode? She seems to think that everyone in the world she disagrees with will simply vanish if SHE JUST TYPES LOUDLY ENOUGH AND USES THE WORD DAMN COMMIE TROLL ENOUGH TIMES.

And will you ever, ever wake up to the fact that all your politicians and media heroes consider you nothing more than a target market to exploit through fear and paranoia? By my count, here are all the people "out to get you:" gays, liberals, atheists, elitists, unions, teachers, intellectuals, communists, jihadists, muslims, yankees, socialists, death panels, birth forgers, hippies (hippies! priceless), "they're coming to take my guns! my bullets!," Mexicans, the "New Black Panthers,"....did I miss anyone? You live in an exquisite world of ceaseless paranoia. And Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, plus all the potential Presidential candidates working on Fox television to sell books...they are laughing all the way to the bank.

Country mice! Come to the city sometime and see how the rest of the world lives.


 MSTRUEAMERICAN: Excuse me but I was BORN AND RAISED in the city. My parents were raised in small town America. I am a NATIVE of the city you commies are coming to have your hoedown at next year.

EUGENE DEBS: commies! commies! commies everywhere! They're not "talking" to you, are they? I mean, you don't hear the "voices" of communists even when they're not in the room, right?.

At this point ACE complains to MSTRUEAMERICAN directly that he can’t figure out why EUGENE DEBS keeps appearing in their feed.

EUGENE DEBS: I know, like, it's so annoying to have someone around who doesn't agree with you! Especially when its so easy to call out your feeble arguments. MIKE HUCKABEE DOES NOT AGREE WITH YOU. TASTE IT. SMELL IT. BELIEVE IT.

 MILLICENT of MIDLOTHIAN: Presidential birth place: A homeland is usually considered a country of origin, this is true. My main concern is the fact that his formative years were spent in Indonesia. We have no information on these years. Obama was under the influence of his Mother who enjoyed a philosophy against the U.S. as many hippies did at that time. It does bother me that our President had such an unAmerican childhood and still idolizes his father whom he had no contact after two years of age. His policies are leading us to a government that was designed by radicals in the 60's, and we are paying a heavy price.

EUGENE DEBS: Where were YOU during those years, MILLICENT, and how can I know you are telling the truth? You know, I used to live in Dallas, and we always considered Midlothian to be a rather suspicious sounding name-- isn't that communist Ukranian or something?

Also, I would like to know exactly how your mother raised you and the influence it has had on your life. Clearly, a mother's beliefs determine forever the political agenda of the adult children, so it is absolutely crucial that we gather this information about every American.

Seriously, I'm going to lunch now. I sincerely hope over the next hour or so that one of you figures out how to exclude me from this site. It's just too much fun and too easy calling out the odd contradictions and faulty logic of your arguments. Admittedly, it is rather like the sadistic pleasure small boys take in pulling the wings off bugs, but it is very amusing and thus highly distracting. In case you do figure out how to kick me out (which seems a 50/50 chance at best), let me leave you with two thoughts:

1. Read "The Paranoid Style in American Politics" by Hofstader. Go on, I dare you.
2. Remember, Mike Huckabee agrees with ME, not YOU. And if he does "secretly" agree with YOU, he is thus lying to everyone else…and no one likes a liar, right? (honestly, why I'm doing Huckabee the favor of calling you people out is beyond me, but he does sometimes seem to be a decent enough guy. So, you're welcome, Mr. Huckabee!)

 An apparent ally joins me in the fight. Note the name.

 MASTERGEORGEPULLMAN: This Debs fella is obviously just a troublemaker, but it does seem like he's got a point about Huckabee. I mean, Mike's gotta know the truth. The question is why he's keeping it quiet? I figure he's waiting until he becomes president because he's afraid to tell the truth right now. But if he doesn't tell the truth now, maybe he'll never become president. I heard the other day from a very reliable source that there are some plans in DC to use all this violent activity in Egypt and Wisconsin to set up some kind of martial law arrangement and keep Obama in office indefinitely. And you know, there's just one word separating marshall law from scharia law. Keep that in mind Mike! Remember where your loyalties are. Speak the truth, and we'll be behind you! WHO'S WITH ME???

EUGENE DEBS: I'm certainly with you Master Pullman. I think every true American, if they really believe the President is "not one of us," should ask this question at every single appearance Mr. Huckabee makes on his book tour. And speak up loudly and clearly so that the cameras can record you -- we don't want the liberal media keeping your voice from being heard. And if Mr. Huckabee continues to lie to you about what he knows about this crucial issue, I implore you all to throw your support, heart and soul, behind a candidate who will give voice to your beliefs -- perhaps Michelle Bachmann, she seems very well informed on this issue. Just so that everyone can feel good about this, I'll even contribute $100 to any Republican candidate who will endorse the President is a Stealth Muslim Raised by Terrorists campaign theme. Convinced by your ironclad logic, I will stand with you in this noble fight.

 The site administrator (CLARA) intervenes and asks us to change the topic to something more productive.

 EUGENE DEBS: See everyone, even the administrator of this site does not want you wasting your time on this nonsense. Come into the light! Don't make us have to send a time machine back from the future to rescue all of you!

Clara, please please please remove me from this site....I simply can't handle the sad spectacle of willful delusion. And Clara, given that you are obviously intelligent enough to be the administrator of this site, how can you be complicit with all of this? You must know that the right exploits these people for votes and money and thinks they are all crazy. Come over to where the smart people are, I promise we will give you a fair listen - we might even agree with many of your ideas. You don't have to let scared, uneducated racists drag you down, Clara.

Ok, I'm done. Cheers!

Sadly, I wasn’t quite done at this point. In another attempt to change the subject from birtherism, Clara asked the group if any of us were keeping up with the events in Egypt, Libya, and Wisconsin. I wrote back with snottily precise summaries of the current situation in all three locations as further evidence that Clara should defect to the side of knowledge and rational debate. Shortly thereafter, I received the following message:

You have been suspended from Team Huck
Sorry, Eugene Debs, you can not access Team Huck as you have been suspended. If you think you've been suspended in error, you can contact the administrator.

I took advantage of the “contact the administrator” link to thank Clara for her patience, and to assure her there would always be a place for her among the non-psychotic should she reconsider where the Huckster was taking her. I’m not holding my breath.

Elitist: Condescending: Cruel: Mean: James O'Keefy-- Guilty as charged. But what can you do? Early on it was very exciting to taunt people so thoroughly immune to logic and completely oblivious to their own racism, but eventually the old Marxist super-ego crept in and I just felt sorry for these people. By the end of the day I realized I had become like the early psychiatrists described by Foucault in The History of Madness.  Confronted with a delusional patient convinced he was made of glass, these rationalists would attempt a cure by hitting the subject in the knee with a hammer.   “See, I just hit you in the knee with a hammer and you didn’t shatter, thus you are not made of glass.”  Of course the patient would simply find a new way to explain how he was both made of glass and immune to hammer blows. The cure rate was about 0%--roughly equivalent to the odds today that one person might change another's political viewpoint on any given issue. 

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